Five data-driven security practices that actually work

Issue 8 2021 Cyber Security

Cisco released its latest cybersecurity report, Security Outcomes Study Volume 2, surveying more than 5100 security and privacy professionals across 27 countries to determine the most impactful measures teams can take to defend their organisations against the evolving threat landscape. Respondents shared their approaches to updating and integrating their security architecture, detecting and responding to threats and staying resilient when disaster strikes.

Last year’s study revealed that five practices had an outsized influence on the overall health of an organisation’s security programme. These include proactively refreshing outdated technology, well-integrated security technologies, timely incident response, prompt disaster recovery and investing in accurate threat detection capabilities. This year’s study analysed those top five practices more closely to identify success factors. Highlights of these findings are included below.

Updating and integrating architecture

Investing in a proactive technology refresh strategy is more critical than ever, as on average 39% of security technologies used by organisations are considered outdated. Unsurprisingly, organisations with cloud-based architectures are more than twice as likely to refresh than those with more outdated, on-premises technologies.

Organisations with integrated technologies are seven times more likely to achieve high levels of process automation. Additionally, these organisations boast more than 40% stronger threat detection capabilities.

More than 75% of security operations programmes that do not have strong staffing resources are still able to achieve robust capabilities through high levels of automation. Automation more than doubles the performance of less experienced staff, supporting organisations through skills and labour shortages.

Detecting and responding to threats

The value of cloud-based security architectures cannot be understated. Organisations that claim to have mature implementations of zero trust or secure access service edge (SASE) architectures are 35% more likely to report strong security operations than those with nascent implementations.

Organisations that leverage threat intelligence achieve faster mean time to repair (MTTR), with rates 50% lower than those of non-intel users.

Staying resilient when disaster strikes

As the threat landscape continues to evolve, testing business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities regularly and in multiple ways is more critical than ever, with proactive organisations 2,5 times more likely to maintain business resiliency.

• Organisations with board-level oversight of business continuity and disaster recovery efforts that have operations residing within cybersecurity teams perform best.

"With the shift to hybrid work, organisations are grappling with the increased complexity of securing a distributed workforce. At the same time, they are also dealing with limited staff and budget constraints, so it’s critical for organisations to invest in innovative technologies and security practices,” said Shailaja Shankar, SVP and GM of Cisco’s Security Business Group. “Cisco’s 2022 Security Outcomes Study takes the guesswork out of prioritising security strategies and technologies. By investing in cloud-based, integrated security architectures with high automation, practitioners can respond to threats faster, so they can focus on enabling the business and keeping users safe.”

To learn more, visit www.cisco.com/go/securityoutcomes2




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